The Great Game of Business Blog

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If You Work At Netflix, You’re Going To Get Wet

Sep 22, 2020 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
Why the online streaming company doesn’t believe in keeping secrets from its employees. In his new bestselling book, No Rules Rules, Reed Hastings digs into some of the cultural aspects that make the company he co-founded, Netflix, so successful. In the book, which is framed as a kind of conversation with Erin Meyer, a professor at the INSEAD business school, Hastings writes that one of the cultural values he instilled in Netflix from its very beginning was that there weren’t going to be any secrets. As he puts it, embracing transparency and letting go of secrets—what Netflix calls “sunshining”—brings incredible advantages in terms of building trust and empowering employees to think like owners. What’s interesting is that Hastings acknowledges it’s easy for leaders to say they are pro-transparency. No one goes around saying they want to promote organizational secrecy, right? But why then, he asks, do so many organizations not walk the walk when it comes to sharing things like the company’s financials with their employees?
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Closing The Gap Between The Haves and The Have-Nots

Sep 2, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  “Business can be a step to make a positive difference in the world. It empowers people to pursue their dreams.” Those are the opening words that Jack Stack and I wrote in our new book, Change the Game: Saving the American Dream By Closing the Gap Between the Haves and the Have-notes. Our goal in writing the book was to share stories about the brighter side of capitalism. We wanted to show real-life examples about how we can create better lives for ourselves and our communities—and bridge the wealth gap plaguing our society—by teaching people the rules of business, helping them keep score, and by sharing A Stake in the Outcome®.  We wanted to shed light on the positive ripple effect that results when you build a business of business-people who think and act as owners do.
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How The 2020 Great Game Of Business All-Stars Are Changing The Game

Aug 7, 2020 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
Just one organization out of 29 All-Star Team Companies has had to permanently lay anyone off What a year 2020 has been so far. From the onset of the pandemic and the economic shutdown to social unrest and massive unemployment, so much has happened. It feels more like a decade has gone by since this all started in March. Quite frankly, it’s been exhausting. We all could use some good news, right?
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When Winning is the Bedrock of Your Culture

Jun 18, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  There is a secret weapon in the fight against COVID-19: America’s urgent care clinics. While Americans have long relied on these walk-in clinics for help in overcoming ailments like the flu and mononucleosis, the fear of COVID has kept people away from healthcare centers across the country. Lacking adequate personal protection equipment, urgent care center visit volumes, decreased 50% almost overnight.
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Who Says Business Isn’t Personal?

Jun 2, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
  We all know some version of the line that appears in the iconic film, The Godfather, where Michael Corleone says to his brother, Sonny: “It’s not personal…it’s strictly business.” Turns out that the phrase was reportedly coined in real life by a guy named Otto Berman, who also happened to be an accountant for organized crime families. With a checkered origin like this, why has this phrase become so wildly accepted? 
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Why Timing is Everything

May 20, 2020 by Darren Dahl 2 Comments
When's the best time to start playing The Great Game of Business®? For SRC, it didn’t come down to a choice. They began playing Great Game™ back in 1983 out of desperation. It was a Hail Mary resort to save their business. They used the system to claw their way out of an 89-to-1 debt-to-equity hole. In the years since, many other companies have also turned to The Great Game of Business system as a last resort. Most of us are more open to change during tough times. What’s less common, though, is companies embracing the system during good times. Why fix something when it isn’t broken, right?
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Why Being Open-Book Matters During a Downturn

May 15, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
A conversion with Ari Weinzweig from Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. The pandemic has hit restaurants hard across the country. Even those that have remained open by offering delivery and take-out service have seen sales—as well as profits—drop, often by a lot. There’s also the question of how to manage furloughed or laid off staff—and when to bring them back to work. Finding answers to those questions remains top of mind for Ari Weinzweig, the co-founder (with Paul Saginaw) of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses (ZCoB), a collection of what is now 11 ventures based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  ZCoB includes an array of industries such as a deli, a bakery, a mail-order fulfillment house, a caterer, a training business (that teaches open-book management among other topics), a coffee company, a creamery, a restaurant, a candy maker, an event space, and most recently, a Korean restaurant. ZCob also includes a separate business called Zingerman’s Service Network that provides administrative services to its sister companies.
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It’s Time To Reimagine Your Business

May 13, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent economic shutdown, has seemed to punish some businesses more than others. That’s especially true for anyone in the travel, hospitality, or restaurant industries—all of whom have been essentially shut down with the economy. For these business owners, the rescue package offered by the government—and the payroll protection program, or PPP, in particular—offered a short-term lifeline to keep companies alive and people employed.
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The Universal Opportunity to Use Business to Close the Gap Between the Haves and the Have-Nots

Jan 28, 2020 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
When you travel just about anywhere throughout the world, there is a bond that brings people together: Jobs. The desire to earn a living, provide for a family, and give back to one’s community is universal. But the bonds that we all share go beyond what we do or where we work. There’s something else we’re all searching for—a way to leverage business to help close the gap between the so-called “haves” and the “have-nots” that increasingly plagues our societies. We’re looking for a way where everyone can earn the opportunity to win and get ahead. We’re also searching for a way to make work more engaging and participatory. To give people a voice in the work that they do and to give them the opportunity to earn a reward that truly reflects their hard work. We wonder if there is a way to leverage business in a way that creates a better, more equitable society that future generations can build on. In short, we’re all looking for a better way to run a business that gives every worker the chance to grab the brass ring for themselves.
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Great Game™ All-Star Leads the Way in Corporate Social Responsibility

Dec 20, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
Van Belle Nursery, Inc.—a 2016 Great Game of Business® All-Star based in Abbotsford, British Columbia—was recently recognized by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce for its business excellence in corporate social responsibility. The award, along with other local business award recipients for various categories, was presented during the 24th annual Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards gala. Dave Van Belle, the company’s CEO, says that he and the company were nominated for the inaugural award, which was established to honor businesses that serve as an aspirational example for how business could be run better in a variety of ways.
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Using MiniGames™ To Drive Open-Book Leadership At H-E-B

Oct 17, 2019 by Darren Dahl 1 Comment
“Open-book management” was one of the popular phrases that got applied to the leadership system, The Great Game of Business®, that Jack Stack and his associates at SRC created back in 1983. But as Stack himself has said many times, most people don’t like to be managed. They like to be lead instead. In that spirit, perhaps it’s time we start thinking of the Great Game as a form of what we might call “open-book leadership.” A fantastic example of open-book leadership in action comes from the front lines of a grocery store in Austin, Texas—H-E-B. Starting back in 2016, the large grocery chain began sending managers and employees—who H-E-B calls “partners”—to the Gathering of Games conference to help inspire them in rolling out Great Game™ practices throughout the company.
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Why Has Profit Become a Bad Word (And What Can We do About It)?

Oct 4, 2019 by Darren Dahl 0 Comments
The word profit can mean many things to many people—especially in our current political climate. But for an increasing number of folks, profit has become a negative term—a dirty word—which has huge implications for the economic sustainability for businesses across the world.  At a time when company values and purpose have gone mainstream, and when even the Business Roundtable has begun prioritizing stakeholders over shareholders, the basics of what goes into making a profit has come under fire.
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About The Great Game of Business

Our approach to running a company was developed to help close one of the biggest gaps in business: the gap between managers and employees. We call our open-book approach The Great Game of Business. What lies at the heart of The Game is a very simple proposition: The best, most efficient, most profitable way to operate a business is to give everybody in the company a voice in saying how the company is run and a stake in the outcome. Let us teach you how to develop a culture of ownership, where employees think, act and feel like owners.